Best VPNs for Windows PCs

NordVPN is our recommendation for the best overall VPN for Windows PCs because it’s fast and reliable, unblocks streaming services, and still remains affordable.
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Best Overall

5.0
Editorial Rating
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On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
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Best for Multiple Devices

4.6
Editorial Rating
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On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
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Best for Reliability

4.6
Editorial Rating
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On ExpressVPN's website

ExpressVPN
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We recommend NordVPN as the best virtual private network (VPN) for Windows PCs based on our testing, experience, and research. Nord is easy to use with its Windows app and it provides high-level protection, privacy, and speed, whether you’re at home or away.

NordVPN is also affordable (starting at $4.19 per month) and can unblock a wide range of content from popular streaming services.

Apart from Nord, we also recommend Surfshark (starting at $2.39 per month) and ExpressVPN (starting at $8.32 per month). We like how inexpensive Surfshark is and how you can use it with unlimited devices. With ExpressVPN, we like its longstanding reliability, which could warrant paying a bit extra in certain situations.

Let’s explore why these are the best VPNs for Windows PCs.

In this article
The best VPNs for Windows PCs 2024
NordVPN: Best overall
Surfshark: Best for multiple devices and affordability
ExpressVPN: Best for reliability
VPNs that didn’t make the cut
Best VPNs for Windows PCs FAQs
Bottom line: The best VPNs for Windows PCs
How we tested the best VPNs for Windows PCs

The best VPNs for Windows PCs 2024

Top 3 VPN services for Windows PCs compared

VPN
Best Overall
Starting price Starts at $4.19/mo Starts at $2.39/mo Starts at $8.32/mo
Free version No No No
Streaming support Yes — Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more Yes — Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more Yes — Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more
Learn more See NordVPN Pricing See Surfshark Pricing See ExpressVPN Pricing

NordVPN: Best overall

Best overall
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN's website
VPN
NordVPN
Up to 71% off 2-year plans + 3 months extra
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices

Who it’s best for

NordVPN is our top pick for the best overall VPN for Windows PCs. This makes it our preferred choice for any Windows user, especially if you want an easy-to-use app, fast speeds, and high levels of security at an affordable price (starting at $4.19 per month).

What we liked

If you frequently stream content from your desktop or laptop PC, you’ll be happy to know you can watch Netflix with NordVPN. We also found that Nord works just fine with every other streaming service we tested, including Disney+ and Hulu.

We love how easy the NordVPN Windows app is to use, whether you’re a beginner or a VPN pro. The app takes no time to set up, and the interface is extremely intuitive and user-friendly. You can even access specialty VPN servers for specific situations, such as double VPN (sometimes called “multi-hop”) for added protection, or P2P servers for torrenting.

NordVPN's specialty server options.

Overall, we like NordVPN the best because it performed well across the board, providing fast speeds, no privacy leaks, and unblocking all the streaming content we tested.

What we didn’t like

Nord has a whopping nine subscription plans to choose from, which makes it a bit confusing if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for. All plans, including the one- or two-year plans and month-to-month plans, come with the same VPN capabilities, but there are differences in price, subscription length, and other included security features.

It can be nice to have several options, but we like the VPN providers that stay around three plans total because it’s less to figure out.

And although we do think NordVPN is affordable, there are some cheaper options out there. Namely, you can get Surfshark starting at $2.39 per month and Private Internet Access starting at $2.03 per month.

NordVPN specs

Price range $4.19 to $14.49/mo
Free version No
Number of servers 6,300+ in 111 countries
Number of connected devices 10
VPN protocol NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get pricing details 
Read our NordVPN Review

Surfshark: Best for multiple devices and affordability

Best for multiple devices and affordability
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support

Who it’s best for

Surfshark makes sense if you want a capable but inexpensive VPN for all your devices. You can’t get much cheaper than a starting price of $2.39 per month for a fast, proven, and secure service you can use on as many devices as you want.

What we liked

Surfshark is fast, has an easy-to-use Windows app, and can cost barely more than a couple of dollars per month. We also had no issues using Surfshark to unblock regional content from popular streaming services.

We like how Surfshark provides access to a large server network in loads of locations worldwide. You can select servers in 100 countries, which beats both NordVPN (60) and ExpressVPN (94).

SurfShark's list of servers in 100 countries.

And we can’t forget about how Surfshark provides unlimited simultaneous connections with unlimited data for its users. This means you can connect as many devices as you want to your Surfshark account and can all use a VPN connection simultaneously.

Unlimited connections is kind of a big deal because you’re typically capped with other providers, including Nord (6) and ExpressVPN (5). So you don’t have to pay for more accounts to have Surfshark on all your computers, phones, tablets, and other devices.

What we didn’t like

We generally didn’t have any issues while using and testing Surfshark, but we still prefer NordVPN if we had to choose. This is largely due to Nord being in business longer and consistently providing its users with updates and evidence that Nord is safe to use.

For example, NordVPN has completed three independent audits of its no-logs policy, whereas Surfshark recently (in 2023) completed its first independent audit of its no-logs policy. We feel that Surfshark was a bit slow in completing this audit but are still happy it’s been done successfully.

Surfshark specs

Price range $2.39 to $12.95/mo
Free version No
Number of servers 3,200+ in 100 countries
Number of connected devices Unlimited
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get pricing details
Read our Surfshark Review

ExpressVPN: Best for reliability

Best for reliability
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website
VPN
ExpressVPN
Save 49% (3 months free)
  • Hides intrusive display ads when browsing the web, improving page speed and easing data usage on mobile
  • Privacy and safety benefits of a VPN with best-in-class encryption and innovative server technology in 105 countries
  • Enjoy no activity logs, malicious sites and trackers protection, and more on up to 8 devices
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Who it’s best for

ExpressVPN makes sense if you want a VPN that does just about everything right and you don’t mind paying extra for it. Starting at $8.32 per month, ExpressVPN is easily one of the more expensive options on the market, but its reliability is often without question.

What we liked

We generally had no worries about privacy, security, or internet connection speeds while using ExpressVPN. This is one of the most well-known VPNs in the world and for good reason.

We had no issues with our computer performance or internet bandwidth, using different streaming services, or testing out different features with the ExpressVPN Windows app. And on the off chance we were to have an issue, we knew we could contact the 24/7 customer support team and chat within minutes.

A conversation with ExpressVPN customer support through live chat.

For example, we had a friendly chat with an ExpressVPN rep on how a VPN encrypts your user data. With ExpressVPN, you have the next-generation Lightway protocol with AES-256 encryption.

We also like how ExpressVPN is compatible with loads of devices and operating systems. This includes Windows devices running Windows 10 or Windows 11. The functionality extends to Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, routers, browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge), and more. So you can easily use ExpressVPN from your PC laptop, iPhone, and other devices at the same time.

What we didn’t like

ExpressVPN costs more than double or triple the amount of many of the other VPNs we’ve tested. That isn’t to say it’s too expensive — paying a little more than $8 per month still isn’t bad if you think about other common monthly expenses you might be paying, such as streaming subscriptions.

But is there a point in using ExpressVPN if you can get what you need from NordVPN, Surfshark, or another less expensive option?

We think it comes down to individual user experience. We found ExpressVPN to be more than reliable when using its Windows app. But you would have to try it out for yourself.

ExpressVPN specs

Price range $8.32 to $12.95/month
Free version No
Number of servers 100+ server locations in 94 countries
Number of connected devices 8
VPN protocol Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get pricing details
Read our ExpressVPN Review

VPNs that didn’t make the cut

These are some of the additional VPNs we tested, but didn’t quite break into our top three best VPNs for Windows PCs.

CyberGhost

We like how CyberGhost is inexpensive (starting at $2.11 per month) and has more than 9,000 servers in 91 countries. But we found the usability of CyberGhost wasn’t as good as NordVPN, Surfshark, or ExpressVPN.

That is, CyberGhost generally seemed a bit slower than some of the other VPNs we tested. We also ran into a few issues when trying to stream regional content. We were eventually able to unblock the content we were trying to access, but it took a few attempts.

Learn more in our CyberGhost VPN review.

Private Internet Access

There’s nothing wrong with Private Internet Access (PIA). We just don’t think it’s necessarily better than Surfshark. We specifically compare it to Surfshark because both VPNs fall into the “affordable VPN” bucket. Surfshark starts at $2.39 per month, and PIA starts at $2.03 per month.

So PIA costs less, but not by much. We also like the Surfshark interface more and felt it was easier to use. PIA has a customizable interface, but it might come off a bit complicated if you’re new to VPNs.

Lastly, PIA provides connections for up to 10 devices, which is a lot. But it still doesn’t beat the unlimited devices you get with Surfshark.

Check out our Private Internet Access VPN review for more information.

Best VPNs for Windows PCs FAQs


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What are the benefits of a VPN on your PC?

There are multiple reasons to use a VPN on your PC, including:

  • Hiding your online activities from your internet service provider (ISP)
  • Streaming regional content
  • Hiding your personal information while using public Wi-Fi networks
  • Securely connecting to home or work networks while traveling
  • Bypassing censorship blocks or other types of restrictions in certain countries

Be sure to check that VPNs are legal in different countries before using them.


+

What is the best VPN for PC with a free trial?

You can try these popular VPNs with at least 30-day-money-back guarantees:

  • NordVPN
  • Surfshark
  • ExpressVPN
  • CyberGhost
  • Private Internet Access
  • Proton VPN

Keep in mind that a money-back guarantee isn’t the same as a free VPN that you can use as long as you want.


+

Does Windows have a built-in VPN?

Yes, Windows has the Microsoft VPN client that’s typically only useful in certain situations. You can’t use it on its own to unblock streaming content or mask your IP address. But you might be able to use it to access files on a local network if you know what you’re doing.


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How do I set up a VPN on my PC?

In most cases, you can set up a VPN on Windows in a few simple steps:

  1. Choose a VPN service that provides a Windows VPN app
  2. Download the Windows app from your selected provider
  3. Install the app and log in to your account to start using your VPN

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What is the best VPN for laptops?

Whether it’s a PC or Mac, we recommend these VPNs for laptops:

  • NordVPN: Our top choice as the best VPN overall
  • Surfshark: Best for value and unlimited devices
  • ExpressVPN: Best for reliability and compatibility with different devices

Some of our runners-up include Private Internet Access and CyberGhost.

Bottom line: The best VPNs for Windows PCs

NordVPN is the best VPN for Windows PCs based on our extensive research, testing, and personal experience. We like how Nord is affordable while remaining highly secure and reliable, whether you’re browsing the internet, streaming regional content, or working while traveling.

Our runners-up for best Windows VPNs are Surfshark and ExpressVPN. Surfshark makes sense if you want an inexpensive VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections. ExpressVPN makes sense if you want an overall reliable VPN and aren’t worried about its cost.

3 best VPNs for Windows PCs 2024

Starting price Best for Learn more
NordVPN Starts at $4.19/mo Best overall for Windows PCs See NordVPN’s Pricing

Read our NordVPN Review

Surfshark Starts at $2.39/mo Best for multiple devices and affordability See Surfshark’s Pricing

Read our Surfshark Review

ExpressVPN Starts at $8.32/mo Best for reliability See ExpressVPN’s Pricing

Read our ExpressVPN Review

How we tested the best VPNs for Windows PCs

We selected the best VPNs for Windows PCs by personally testing a variety of different VPN services and researching information about them. Here are some of the factors used in our testing and research:

  • Price: We think paying $5 or less per month for a VPN is affordable for most people. We generally don’t think you need to go over this price point unless you simply like a VPN more or it provides something specific for your situation. For example, ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive, but it’s reliable, has loads of server locations, and does just about everything right — so it could make sense to pay the extra amount for the reliability.
  • Internet speeds: We had no issues with internet speeds while using our top VPNs. This meant we could still go about our everyday PC activities while using NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN without experiencing any significant slowdowns in speed.
  • Streaming support: We were able to successfully unblock content on loads of popular streaming services with our best VPNs.
  • Privacy and security: Nord, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN provided sufficient DNS and WebRTC leak protection during our testing. They all also provide high levels of encryption and privacy, including no-logs policies. None of these VPNs have had any major known breaches from hackers.
  • Additional features: You can find additional features on all three VPNs, including kill switches, split tunneling, torrenting support, and generally easy-to-use Windows apps.

For more of our top VPN recommendations, check out our page on the best VPNs.

Customizable Coverage That is Simple to Use
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN's website
VPN
NordVPN
Up to 71% off 2-year plans + 3 months extra
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices
Author Details
Ben Walker is a security, travel, and credit card writer with a passion for all things internet and technology, whether it's using VPNs while away from home or organizing his life with password managers.